Tampa, Florida- The debate over legalizing medicinal marijuana in Florida is heating up. John Morgan of law firm Morgan and Morgan spoke about the issue Tuesday evening at "Friday Morning Musicale Theatre" on West Horatio Street in Tampa. The event was open to the public. It was hosted by Tampa Bay Young Republicans.
Former governor and gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist supports his employer's move to push for the legalization of medicinal marijuana. Crist says, " I have a sister who has brain cancer. I really am supportive of my partner, John Morgan, and all the efforts that he's put forward to try to make this the law of the land in Florida - as an issue of compassion.
Morgan has talked on many occasions about his own brother, Tim, being a quadriplegic. He says the drug has helped him. Crist agrees. "I think that medical marijuana is very important to people who are suffering, that have pain and may have lost their appetite," he says.
Despite Florida's Supreme Court clearing the way for the issue of medical marijuana to make it to the November ballot, lawmakers still have a lot of work to do, especially when it comes to employers. What happens when an employee's drug test comes back positive and the company has a zero tolerance policy?
We asked William deMeza, Jr. He's a partner at Holland and Knight law firm. He says, "Many of our clients are construction companies, restaurants, or manufacturers - organizations where employees are involved with equipment and such that they may endanger themselves or others if they're impaired. It puts the employee in a very difficult situation, but what we have to remember is even though Florida's law will decriminalize the use of marijuana it is still a violation of federal law. It's prohibited under federal law."
deMeza also says it could be a matter of where employees have to take a special certificate to their employer ahead of time notifying them that they're using medicinal marijuana under a doctor's order so they don't face termination if a drug test comes back positive.